When you’re at the beginning of your financial journey, a huge goal is to become independently wealthy and take care of yourself.
This is even more true if you have had to rely on people in the past for your finances, or if you have been raised in a family where money was an issue.
In this article, we are going to look at the best ways that you can become independently wealthy and self-reliant.
Let’s get started:
What Does It Mean to Be Independently Wealthy?
So, you may be wondering – what does it mean to be independently wealthy?
Well, to be wealthy means that you have a lot of money, in simple terms. Don’t we all hope to make millions one day and live a life of luxury?
To be independently wealthy means that you have enough wealth (income) to look after yourself in every way and not rely on anyone else, especially for financial support.
Having wealth is a goal for so many, but we often don’t know how to get there- how much money do you need to achieve financial independence?
We’ll answer this question and more to help you become independently wealthy.
Misconceptions About Being Independently Wealthy
It’s Not The Same As Financial Independence
If you know about financial independence, you may be wondering if independently wealthy is the same thing, just with a different name.
Being independently wealthy and being financially independent are very similar, but they are not the same thing.
Financial Independence is where you have enough money to live off of for the rest of your life- you will never worry about your monthly expenses or general cost of living because you’ve achieved the ultimate goal of financial freedom.
Typically being financially independent also means “without having to work”- your wealth is enough for you and your money grows without additional income from work.
In this case, people who dedicate a lot of time and money to investments can earn passive income that is more than enough to live on. If you invest your money early and look for other means of passive income, then your wealth has more opportunity to grow.
Being independently wealthy is where you have enough money to be able to support yourself, without needing support from others. Each month, your income is the amount of money you need to get by and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.
You can become financially independent without total financial independence, but not so much the other way. I can’t imagine having millions of dollars to my name, but still asking my parents to pay for my phone bill!
You Don’t Need Millions
Being independently wealthy is not exactly something you need millions of dollars to achieve- it only sounds complicated for those of us who have struggled to achieve financial freedom!
As a college student, I certainly wasn’t ready to take care of myself without financial support from others. I was the total opposite of financially independent!!
Now as an adult, budgeting and living wisely has opened my eyes and completely changed all that.
To be independently wealthy means that you have enough wealth to support yourself and not need any help, and we’re all able to achieve that in our own way.
Have All The Luxuries In Life
When people think of rich people, that often conjures up images of all kinds of flashy things, such as a sports car, Rolex, designer clothes, and a massive mansion.
In reality, that isn’t true at all for some of us independently wealthy folks! We don’t have the newest cars or cell phones, but we’re happy and have enough money for what matters.
What Independent Wealth Really Looks Like
Being wealthy – and independently wealthy – will look different to everyone. Out monthly expenses and income all vary.
The main difference is does what you have cover what you need and your lifestyle?
You may have different expectations of what you believe financial independence will be for you- it could be just taking care of monthly bills with some extra money still in the bank; or it could be taking more vacations every year and working less without breaking the bank.
Independent wealth looks like being in control of your finances and your life, however you may want your life to look. The bare bones of it is that you can rely on yourself without having to be in a relationship or ask your family for help.
But just remember, we sometimes have surprise emergencies that can cost more than we ever expect!
We don’t always have the specific amount of money tucked away in our savings, and we may need to ask for help then.
Why Aim for Independent Wealth?
You may be thinking, “Well, duh, of course- we all want to be financially independent and do better for ourselves!”
But some of you may be out there wondering why you shouldn’t stay on your family’s phone plan forever or keep doing your laundry at their house.
Do you want to be reliant on someone else for your financial security? Don’t you want to build up your net worth, and maybe take care of your parents instead?
I wanted to be financially independent for me and my family first, but being able to help my parents and friends in need is an amazing feeling.
Being independently wealthy means that you can concentrate on the most important person in your life – you. And everyone else is icing on the cake!
Signs You’re Already Independently Wealthy
You never know, you may already be independently wealthy without realizing it!
Some signs that you are already independently wealthy include things like:
- You’re making enough money to not live paycheck to paycheck
- Your income can comfortably cover your cost of living expenses
- You are living the life that you want to
- You don’t rely on anyone else to cover your lifestyle or daily living expenses
- You have passive income that covers most, or all, of your expenses
- If you don’t want to work, then you don’t have to do so – it’s a choice
15 Ways for You to Become Independently Wealthy and Self-Reliant
There are some things that you can do to become independently wealthy and stop relying on financial support from others.
Check out our ways to stretch your income further and bump up your net worth!
One of the most important things that you can do to improve your finances and become financially independent is to work on your budget.
We always recommend this first step, and it’s how we became independently wealthy ourselves. The reason that a budget is so important is that it gives you a clear overview of your finances and net worth.
Don’t get in your own way! Wasting money is one of the top ways to prevent you from becoming wealthy and achieving financial freedom!
To create a budget, go back through your previous monthly costs. It’s easy enough to do this by going through your bank statements and organizing your expenses into categories that make sense for you.
We recommend working to a zero-based budget: you take your income and then subtract all of your expenses, leaving you with $0 every month.
That doesn’t mean that you are spending all of your money, but rather that you budget all of your money. It means that you will give every single bit of your money to a specific job.
The reason for doing this is so that you don’t have any leftover money after your bills, which may get gobbled up by random expenses. Your budget is only about necessities, and not the extras!
Control Your Spending
When you are trying to become wealthy, you must have control of your spending.
We tend to beat ourselves up when our impulse buying isn’t under control, but it’s really important to remember that our spending is related to how we feel at the time – our emotions.
When we feel a certain way, we want to help ourselves feel better, and this is where the shopping problems can come in. It’s important to realize that this is normal, but that we can find another outlet for our spending.
Budgeting will really help you with this, especially if you are tracking your expenses daily, as it will help you to identify any problem areas to work on.
Set Your Goals
When it comes to achieving any kind of financial success, you need to set some good goals.
They need to be realistic so that you will be pushing yourself – but you are giving yourself a chance to actually achieve them!
Although the goal is obviously to be independently wealthy, it’s important to set all kinds of financial goals.
If you set financial goals then you should be easily able to achieve them – just make sure that they are specific and realistic.
One of the first financial goals that you could set is paying down any debt that you have. You’ll want to erase credit card debt from your life and get money back into your savings account!
You can’t become wealthy if you owe lots of money to other people and have no money in savings.
When you are on a mission to become independently wealthy, it’s important that you also set some personal goals to make sure that you are building the life you want.
These could be fitness goals, health goals, and simple goals to be more organized/productive – all of these will help you achieve your main goal and help you long-term.
Become Frugal and Spend Less
On the journey to becoming independently wealthy, something that will help to speed things along for you is to become more frugal and spend less.
Being frugal doesn’t mean that you never spend any money ever, it just means that you will spend smarter and try not to drop money on everything that you see!
Think about frugal things that you can do for fun (as ‘fun’ is usually one of our biggest expenses) that are less expensive, such as going to the park, beach, or museums.
Spending less isn’t about having no fun and just hoarding all of your money, but about making sure that you aren’t wasting your money on things you don’t actually want or need.
No Lifestyle Creeping!
Have you heard about lifestyle creep? It prevents so many people from being independently wealthy!!
Lifestyle creep is where the costs of your lifestyle increase with any increase of income that you have.
Say, for example, you get a pay rise at work and start to eat out at least once every week since you have “extra money”. The extra spending means you may enjoy more in your life, but long-term you don’t have more money.
Avoiding lifestyle creep means that you keep your expenses the same regardless of any extra that you get.
Save For The Future
Having money saved for the future is a key part of becoming independently wealthy.
As nice as it would be to be wealthy right away, it’s going to take time to build. Make sure that you are planning and saving for the future.
As with any journey, your path to be independently wealthy is going to have ups and downs. The most important thing is to make sure that you are covered in case of any emergencies.
When an emergency strikes, the last thing you want to be thinking about is how you are going to afford it.
How much you save in your emergency fund is a personal choice, but you can aim for $1,000 to cover some medical problems or other sticky situations.
Invest Early and Often
Something that’s going to be really important on your road to being independently wealthy is investing.
Whether you’re rich or not, you can invest your money and create an easy stream of passive income- enough passive income that you don’t have to rely on income from employment!
Investing is available to pretty much anyone, as there are so many companies out there that have a really low minimum amount to invest. Not need to wait until you have lots of money!
Stocks and ETFs
Whenever someone mentions investing, you probably think about the stock market.
You can invest in lots of different stocks, and whilst a lot of people talk about investing in individual stocks such as Tesla or Amazon, you can in fact invest in a bunch of different stocks at the same time, with index funds.
ETFs (exchange-traded funds) are a type of investment fund which is traded on stock exchanges, which are bought and sold throughout the day.
We recommend checking out some of the most popular investing platforms such as:
Real estate is probably another thing that you thought about when investing is mentioned.
Owning a home and getting rental income from it can be another stream of income to boost your savings.
Real estate is something that requires a bit more money upfront than investing in stocks, however. Many people need to save more to attain any real estate investments.
Real estate is a great way to make money and build your wealth if you do it right. You will need to do your research and get a property that will have frequent tenants.
Farmland is another option for building wealth, although you will typically need quite a lot of money upfront for this, as a lot of the platforms that you invest in require minimum salaries and deposits. We particularly like the company FarmTogether.
Get That Retirement Plan Started
Being independently wealthy isn’t only about what you can afford in the here and now. Planning for retirement is essential if you want to become independently wealthy.
Make sure that you are taking advantage of any employer retirement accounts (401(k) savings account!) and get that company match!
A good thing to do is to work out what your FI/RE number is (Financial Independence/Retire Early). This is the calculation that you do to figure out how much money you need in an investment account to live off it (and retire whenever you want).
To do this, you simply need to do your annual expenses, multiply by 25 and that’s your number!
Increase Your Income
Increasing your income will make all the difference in your net worth. You can find a great side hustle to earn passive income and accumulate wealth a bit quicker.
Make sure that you plan this out though, as you don’t want to be burnt out or overworked.
Being an entrepreneur is great because there is no income limit and your need to be independently wealthy can be fulfilled by your own hands!
You can earn so much from being an entrepreneur- it’s not just income from an employer, it’s income and your own wealth that you create.
But wealth is not guaranteed – you will have to have a good business.
If you plan to run your own business, you will need to take this seriously from the very start and put together a good business plan.
It’s not enough to simply throw up a website and hope for the best. You will need to choose a niche, decide on how you are going to make money and how you are going to market it.
Entrepreneurship is also something that grows slowly over time, so make sure that you stick with it if you are determined. It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done for sure!
Working From Home
More and more people are looking to work from home now, and it’s a great way to save money as well as make more money.
You can save money on expenses such as commuting and eating out, but you can make money by trying out a wide range of work from home jobs.
Speaking of work from home jobs, there are so many online jobs that are available these days, with our favorites being ones like:
- Teaching English (VIPKID)
- Freelancing on Fiverr
- Doing surveys on Inbox Dollars or Survey Junkie
Blogging is something we always recommend, as it worked out so well for us and got us on the path to become independently wealthy.
We can’t believe how much we’ve been able to make from blogging, and being able to both quit our jobs to work on The Savvy Couple full time and support our family.
The main ways to make money from blogging include (but aren’t limited to):
- Sponsored posts
- Affiliate marketing
Play the Long Game (Long-term goal planning)
As mentioned, building wealth isn’t something that is going to happen straight away – you need to be really patient.
The best thing to do is to plan for it in advance.
This shouldn’t be too difficult to do, as you will need to figure out how much money you would need to be independently wealthy, write out any action steps that you need to take, and then break it down monthly.
Part of being wealthy is making sure that you have enough money for the things you want and need in life- and you can’t forget your home.
Paying off your mortgage doesn’t need to just be done in one fell swoop, but can be done by chipping away at it over time (just check the terms of your mortgage).
Don’t Lose Your Fun
Have you heard the phrase “pay yourself first”?
When you get paid, you put some money straight into savings and investments– wherever it needs to be for your goals to become reality.
You can also make sure that within your budget you are putting money towards things that you enjoy.
Pay Off Old Debts
Paying off any old debts that you have is a vital step on the way to becoming independently wealthy.
It is going to be hard to step forward with your finances if you are always going to be paying off things that you have bought in the past.
Start with writing out all of the different debts that you have. You may find it useful to go through your bank statements to see who you are sending your payments each month.
When you have all of your debts listed out, you will need to also write out the minimum payment each month, the interest rate, and the timeframe on that interest rate.
This is all-important because knowledge is power – you can make a clear plan of action if you know where you are currently at. Not only that, but you can choose in which order you wish to tackle your debts.
There are a couple of main debt payoff methods which are popular – the debt avalanche method and the debt snowball method – but you can choose whichever method makes the most sense for you personally.
The debt avalanche method is where you choose the debt with the highest interest rate to pay off first (whilst still paying the minimums on the other debts), as this will save you the most money in interest payments over time.
The debt snowball method is where you choose the debt with the smallest balance first (whilst still paying the minimums on the other debts), as this will give you the most psychological benefits, as you will see that you are making progress in paying down your debts.
Avoid New Debts
As much as we want to talk about paying off any debts you currently have, the goal really needs to be making sure that you don’t go into any more debt in the future.
It would be horrible to rack up credit card debt and go back to square one!
The main two ways to avoid going into debt are living within your means and preparing for emergencies.
Don’t Forget Philanthropy
On social media you’ll see a lot of people saying that the billionaires should be giving away lots of their money, but why should it just be them?
If we all create a habit of giving, the world will be a better place.
You don’t need to donate a fixed amount or percentage – just whatever works best for you.
But you don’t need to donate money if you can’t – donating your time is amazing as well.
Work on Yourself
Working on yourself is the best investment that you can ever make and something that we have really come to terms with as we’ve been getting older!
There is only one of you in the world, and why would you not want it to be the best version of you that there can be?
There are so many things that you can do to work on and improve yourself.
That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with you currently, but rather that it’s a good thing to be trying to grow and be the best version of yourself.
You could look at improving or updating any current skills that you have and perhaps enjoy. This could be either as a hobby or something that will benefit you in your professional life.
The same goes for learning new skills. Is there anything that you think will benefit your life by knowing? This could be things like learning a new language, a new sport, how to be more confident, and so on.
The road to becoming independently wealthy isn’t going to be smooth and it may take time.
But it’s hard work worth doing to achieve your lifestyle goals and have financial freedom.
Being independently wealthy means that you will not have to rely on anyone else to be wealthy and live the life that you want.
That means that you do not have to stay in a relationship that you are not happy in, or keep in contact with toxic family or friends just because you need financial support.
You get to live your life on your own terms and design it exactly how you want to. That’s very exciting! And it’s something that we would love for all of our readers to be able to accomplish.